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Lovely encounter with this cute Pygmy Seahorses. Pics#1, #2 & #3 are of the same individual, he is heavily pregnant. Among the seahorses, including Pygmy Seahorses, it is the Males that carries the eggs. During courting, the Female will deposit her eggs into the pouch the male where they are fertilized and the Males broods the eggs in his tummy until they are ready to be released as super tiny seahorses. He releases them in batched. Pics#4 & #5 are of 2 of them, cozying up to each other.
A specific Gorgonian Seafan - Muricella spp gorgonians
The pygmy seahorse is well camouflaged, being extremely difficult to spot amongst the gorgonian coral it inhabits. So effective is this camouflage that the species wasn’t actually discovered until its host gorgonian was being examined in a laboratory. In 1969 a New Caledonian scientist, Georges Bargibant, was collecting specimens of Muricella spp gorgonians for the Nouméa museum and whilst one of these was on his dissection table he happened to notice a pair of tiny seahorses.